Energized after participating in political rallies to demand equal civil rights, a group of AT&T employees wanted to keep the momentum going within their workplace. There was precedence to support their mission: In 1975, we were among the first corporations to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The employees’ dedication to Be There for their communities and passion for driving progress marked the start of what is now known as LEAGUE at AT&T – one of the first LGBTQ+ and ally employee groups in the nation.
LEAGUE at AT&T Today
“I had already started a nonprofit organization called Rainbow Roundup with a few friends because we realized it was difficult to connect with other LGBTQ+ families in the Dallas area. There were 16 members in the beginning and now it has grown to over 1,000 participating families.”
Since joining our team in 2015, Stacey made an early commitment to join LEAGUE as an active member. Between participating in the group’s many events, focusing on her career growth in marketing, and facilitating projects between AT&T and WarnerMedia, it’s been a busy couple of years. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I really love the work I do which extends outside of my day-to-day job. Joining LEAGUE really helped me learn more about AT&T as well. I have grown professionally being part of this organization.”
Currently, LEAGUE has a focus on four pillars: Representation in the Workplace, Skills Development, Engagement and Advocacy. These pillars guide the employee group’s mission to support its members while also working with external organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community. Each year, LEAGUE leadership reviews its goals, refines, and pivots as needed to help focus on pressing issues.
“When it comes to representation in the workplace, we try to influence the corporate culture so employees can bring their authentic selves. You can’t be 100% productive if you can’t be yourself in the workplace. When you’re not open to colleagues about your true self, you spend more time on trying to remember the stories you told them when you should have been focusing more on your work.
“As for Professional Development, we are always trying to provide LGBTQ+ employees with the opportunity to learn and help them enhance the skills they need to continue advancing in their careers. We also have a LEAGUE scholarship foundation, one of the first LGBTQ+ ERG foundations, for college-bound students and have provided more than $385k in scholarships since the program inception.”
Influencing Change for Everyone
The final pillar, Advocacy, is a recent addition as LEAGUE leaders have observed a concerning trend across the country in proposed bills at the state and national level against the LGBTQ+ community. Progress is never a guaranteed constant, and members now feel it is especially necessary to speak out in the current climate.
“We align with and support LGBTQ+ legislation to help advance equal rights. There are over 100 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been proposed across the country and some of them have passed. Anything we can do to help the community and ensure equal rights is a good thing in my book.
“We have many LGBTQ+ employees here at AT&T who identify themselves as either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, binary, nonbinary, queer, and some who don’t associate with anything at all. We also have employees who are allies and some of them have children in the LGBTQ+ community. So, when I think about advocacy, I think of advocating not just for employees, but for all employees and their families.”
Influencing change means gathering the energy and support from anywhere you can. Stacey became LEAGUE CEO in 2019 thanks to her efforts in organizing larger events such as the employee group’s 30-year anniversary celebration and coordinating with sister companies such as WarnerMedia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Throughout her time with the group, she’s seen how support from leadership can make the difference.
Progress & Evolution
“Every employee group has a set of executive advisors, and I can’t say enough good things about our own executive advisory team. They ensure our voice is heard and they support our efforts in whatever we are trying to accomplish.
“One recent example: It was brought to our attention that certain medications for AT&T employees fell under a 30-day supply requirement. Constant refills were frustrating, especially as COVID started. We reached out to AT&T benefits and throughout many conversations and with the support of our advisors, they did their research and were able to get the benefit changed for 2021. Now, employees can receive a 90-day supply for the medication they need.”
What is in store for LEAGUE’s future? Growth is always on the horizon, and like our other employee groups, anyone can join.
“We consider ourselves to be very inclusive, and I foresee us continuing down the line of becoming more vocal as it relates to advocacy. There’s nothing greater than supporting your community and enabling them to be authentic.
“The more authentic we are, the more productive employees we’ll have. The more we can see the LGBTQ+ employee base grow career wise, the more people will see themselves in others.
“We’re evolving. We’re continuing on this trajectory of enabling authenticity and becoming the best advocates we can be for communities and our members.”Learn more about our LGBTQ+ Community Visit LEAGUE’s official website